A Zimbabwean Introspective
I may well be revealing a mildly off-putting personality quirk in telling you this, but I have running mental lists of the best things I have done, seen, eaten, read, etc. From pizza to public restrooms, I can give a running order of my top experiences of the category in question. I share this (perhaps character-betraying) piece of trivia because before I had even set foot in Zimbabwe, I had crowned a new winner in the Best Short Plane Journey category. I have never seen a sky so empty of clouds, and an under-wing expanse so sprawling as the view I had from my window on the hour-long flight from Johannesburg to Harare. Touching down, I felt the thoughts that had so worried me the night before simply evaporate in the dry heat. Knowing that I was one small point in such a vast vista brought with it a sense of tranquility. About fifteen hours prior, I lay awake, having had an intense phone call with my partner about this adventure. As someone in a same-sex relationship, my trip to Zimbabwe posed personal, moral and political problems that desired reconciliation. Same-sex activity is outlawed in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe regularly launches verbose attacks towards the LGBT community. By traveling here, I would be tacitly contributing to a country where the law does not respect a part of who I am; and where many like me, live lives of misery and danger. Could I justify traveling to such a place? An inquisitive mind (and a nonrefundable airfare) allowed me to proceed on this once-in-a-lifetime journey with my brother.